TSX Rallies on Oil, Jobs Data

Cronos, Tamarack in Focus

Canada's main stock index lost some earlier gains Friday, gains fostered by a rally in oil prices and a robust domestic jobs data, which eased worries over a recent economic slowdown.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index subsided 16.11 points, to greet noon Friday at 14,920.89, after spending much of the morning in the green.

The Canadian dollar surged 0.49 cents to 75.14 U.S.

Among notable movers, shares of Cronos Group surged 24% on Marlboro cigarette maker Altria Group's move to invest $1.8 billion in the cannabis producer.

Cronos shares flew, gaining $2.90, or 20.7%, to $16.88.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Tamarack Valley Energy, which rose 18 cents, or 8.7%, to $2.25, and Crescent Point Energy, which gained 24 cents, or 5.8%, to $4.39.

WestJet Airlines Ltd fell 67 cents, or 3.3%, the most on the TSX, to $19.97. Detour Gold Corp, on the other hand, came back from early losses, and bolted higher 30 cents, or 3.1%, to $10.01, by midday Friday.

On the economic calendar, Statistics Canada reported this country produced 94,000 jobs in November, driven by gains in full-time work. The unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%, the lowest since comparable data became available in 1976.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.57 points – off its highs of the morning -- to 569.65.

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups had lurched into the red Friday, as information technology faded 2.7%, consumer discretionary stocks had lost 1.8%, and industrials dipped 0.9%.

The four gainers were led by energy, vaulting 3.1%, health-care, popping 2.6%, and gold, shining 0.5% brighter.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks dropped sharply on Friday, concluding what has been a wild week for Wall Street. A weaker-than-expected jobs report and China-U.S. trade tensions sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower by 400 points.

The 30-stock index swooned 399.84 points, or 1.6%, noon Friday at 24,547.83

The S&P 500 faded 41.32 points, or 1.5%, to 2,654.63

The NASDAQ shed 136.29 points, or 1.9%, to 7,051.72

Shares of large-cap tech companies led the way lower. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all traded lower. Apple’s stock also fell 2.4% after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the tech giant’s shares, citing weakening iPhone sales.

For the week, the major indexes were all down more than 3%. Thursday’s session included a violent drop of nearly 800 points, followed by a strong rebound from those levels.

The U.S. economy added 155,000 jobs last month. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 198,000 jobs. Wage growth also missed estimates.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Federal Reserve is considering whether to signal a wait-and-see approach to rate hikes at its upcoming meeting this month. The report said Fed officials do not know what their next move on rates will be after December.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were slightly higher, lowering yields to 2.88% from Thursday’s 2.89%. Treasury prices move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained $2.14 to $53.63 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices surged $7.80 to $1,251.40 U.S. an ounce.